Powermate Review
by Steve Major



Months ago I became very excited to learn that there finally was a hard drive available for ADAM. A short time later I was disappointed to learn that in order to install this hard drive I'd have to take my ADAM apart, cut holes in it, and then solder it into place. Needless to say with my experience in this area my ADAM would have turned into a hopeless pile of goo in trying to install it. I thought my days of seeing a hard drive were over since the creater of this hard drive said that there was no way for a plug-in hard drive to work.
Now comes the new PLUG-IN hard drive interface and it offers everything the first one does and a whole lot more. First we'll have a little back ground on it's creater. The owner of Micro Innovations is Mark Gorden. He is a professional hardware designed who applied his talents to ADAM when his son asked him to build a hard drive interface for ADAM, he did so and soon after Micro Innovations was born.


Lets get into talking about the Powermate itself. First thing that we should talk about is the interface itself. The interface is very designed and very professional looking, to install it, just plug it into the center slot-- that's it. Now what if you have a large X-RAM addressor card there? No problem, just detach the wire from it and solder in onto the Powermate interface (complete instructions are included to do this, and even I did it), now what if you have a parallel interface there? Again no problem, you don't need it because the Powermate interface comes with one BUILT-IN, this is a completely compatible parallel interface that works great with all existing software. Now so far with all this you may have thought Mark would stop here-- no way!! You also have two SERIAL ports on his interface as well!! The only problem with these is that they are not compatible with any ADAM software although patches for this are available.


Second let's talk about the Powermate hard drive. To plug it into your ADAM just hookup to ribbon cable from the interface to the rear of the hard drive, it's much like hooking up a parallel printer or modem and the simplest thing in the world. The hard drive casing matches the color of your ADAM completely, to turn it on, just flip the switch in the back of the casing. It has it's own powersuppily and a cooling fan to keep the drives cool for extended periods of use. There are several options for the size of your hard drive. The casing has room for two IBM type drives. One of these is of course taken up by the hard drive. The hard drive can be of three sizes: 10, 20, or 30 megabytes. The other spot in the casing can be taken up by 1) nothing, 2) another hard drive, 3) 360K floppy disk drive, 4) 720K floppy disk drive. The latter drive is compatible with existing ADAM converted 720K drives and makes this a super bargin!


The prices range from $399 to $699 depending on what drive size you want or how many you need.


To me Powermate gets a A+ for being the perfect addition for your ADAM. If your just starting out, just a tape drive will do, once you get Powermate your on your way to bigger and better things.


What's in store for the future from Micro Innovations? Mark is almost done his Powermate-4 which has space for four IBM type drive-- that's right you could have FOUR hard drives working with you ADAM. Another thing we may see are bigger hard drives available, one day I called Mark and he was working on a 50 Megabyte hard drive for his Powrmate. This company is sure to become a leader is the ADAM world for designing new and exciting hardware products for ADAM.
 

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